Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tea Baked Dictionary Pages

Black Tea baked Dictionary Pages

Once, when I was feeling "pensive" as a child--I remember being 10 or so and looking moodily
out the window--my Grandmother brought me a cup of tea.  Kids can have tea, according to 
Gram, as long as there is lots of milk and sugar.  The formula is: older you get the less milk.
Anyway, this delicious, thoughtful cup of tea (which made me feel much better, thank you!) 
has made me a confirmed tea drinker for life.  I am rarely without a cup of black tea (cream and 
sweetener) at my elbow whether teaching or typing or making art.  So adding tea to my pages
is a natural.  

Alice, one of my participants in my Visual Art Journaling Group, Colorado 
suggested I try tea baking some pages and referred me to Gwen Diehn's book The Decorated
Journal .  I own this book but have linked to her later compilation book The Complete
Decorated Journal.  Inside is the recipe for baked pages.  I immediately went home and 
baked some of my multi-media journal pages (removed from my journal of course) with tea.

The recipe is in the linked book, but I'm not always the best at following recipes.  I baked
my pages longer than she suggests and I think think they might be a little brittle but they
will be so great for collage.  I am really eager to draw all over collaged pages in my journal.

I ripped pages out of a old dictionary I bought for .50 at the library at the Botanic Gardens.
I put several pages on a cookie sheet.  I brewed a pot of black tea with a whole handful of tea
bags.  I poured about an 8th of an inch of strong tea on the pages, making sure that each
layer of pages was covered.  I tore open a few of the soggy bags (watch out, they can be hot)
and poured the leaves on the pages.  I spread out the leaves.  Make sure that your cookie
tray is not too full of tea or it will slosh everywhere when you mess with your cookie sheet
later (voice of experience).  Bake in a 250 oven until most of the liquid has evaporated.  
Swish the tea and leaves from side to side several times while the paper is baking.  

Hang the pages up and let them dry.  Rinse the pages to get the leaf grit off after the page
drys or you will rinse off most of the color.  If you don't like how they turned out bake them
again.  Hang up to dry a second time.  I used twine between two cupboard knobs over the
sink and bag clips.  The whole point is that your pages look aged and just wonderful.
Just delicious for collage.  

Another tea idea is to use a tea bag that has been brewing in hot water (again, let it cool)
to stain your pages.  The pink-brown tone of this page was created by using a tea bag
like a sponge.  More passes mean darker color.  Use this technique on heavier paper as
the wet will soak through with thinner paper.  I used MaryBeth Shaw's Spring Stencil Girl
Club flower stencil at the top.  Tombo Markers, Martha Stewart Craft Makers and Sharpie
Pen.  I am so grateful that Spring is here!!!

Beginning a page with the baked pages (left) that I thought you'd like to see.  The right side is a
masking tape base rubbed with Terra Cotta Walnut Ink.

Sepia Art Table Buddha

This is the drawing of my art table on the taped right hand page. Have never
taped my pages before.  Experimenting with this in Juliana Coles Quick Draw workshop.  I
think her layered style is akin to patterned style I have.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Drawing Buddha's Hand

Buddha Holding the World
Watercolor, stenciled halo, Sharpie Pen

Blue Buddha Drawing

Watercolor, stenciled halo, Sharpie Pen

I made the bottom Buddha drawing and had previously blogged about it.
(see previous post)
The face was easy but the hands and feet were a challenge, especially 
the left hand.  My son said he really liked the left hand because the heavy
lines in the figure joints meant that that hand could move, like the
cartoon figures he likes to look at online.  I kept on staring at that hand
and began to think that it was trying to tell me something.  Buddha's hand
can move?  I started to think that there was something IN Buddha's left
hand, although that wasn't what I thought I was drawing.  Hmmmm, looks
like a ball.  I decided to just let that cook and see what came up.

Later I realized that the ball is the World.  The World is in Buddha's hand.  I
decided to work on the drawing (the top drawing is the finished one) and
render what I had realized.  Somehow I feel like crying.  It makes me think
of something I visualize when I am feeling despair.  I imagine myself in Christ's
arms, like Mary holding the crucified Christ in the Pieta.  Of course I am not
dead but only crucified, usually by my own thoughts.  This image came to 
me from that story of the footprints in the sand--the story where Christ shows
a man his life and how he has always been with him.  The man sees the extra
pair of footprints, along his own in the sand, but then notices that there is a
time in his life when there is only one set of footprints.  The man accuses
Christ of abandoning him right when he needed him the most.  Christ smiles
and says "That's when I carried you".  

So now I have another healing image, that of Buddha holding the world.  The
reality that the Buddha represents is large, the world is small.  I also realize that
this is Buddha offering the world to us.  Offering the world to me.  Offering 
a world of compassion and peace.  It can only be offered.  I must receive.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Buddha, Left and Right

Left Hand Drawing

Right Hand Buddha

Inked pencil drawing with watercolor

In Jane LaFazio's Sketching and Watercolor, Journal Style workshop we were asked to 
draw a continuous line drawing with our left hand.  I decide to draw one of my Buddha statues.
The drawing only took a little while, but I kind of liked it.  I was surprised, however, when
people in the class remarked that it was "so full of emotion".  Hmmm I can see it but guess
the directness of my left hand drawing came through.

In week 6 we were asked to draw a man-made object.  I found that I just didn't want to
draw kitchen appliances or the like.  So I did a right hand drawing of my statue.  It was easy
to draw the upper half of this statue but I kept on erasing and redrawing the bottom half.  I
still wonder about some of the details.  The color, which began when I picked up the wrong
colored Sharpie Pen actually turned out to be a happy accident.  I have always loved images
of the "Medicine Buddha", the Buddha depicted as being blue.

So which Buddha do you prefer?  I am always looking for comments about my posts.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Urban Sketching

inked pencil sketch with watercolor

I think I've figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life: illustrate the world through travel, Urban Sketching, Botanical Art Journaling and just observing the beauty and fascinating details of the world in general.  

Really excited about taking an Urban Sketching class from Frederick Pichon later this month through Colorado Free University  and I'm also having great fun teaching a Botanical Art Journaling class that started last Sunday.

You know that great feeling you get when the details of life all seem to sort of magnetically align and point to a fork in the road you hadn't really noticed before?  I love observing the world and recording what I see.  I've been wanting to travel to see all the places I teach my students about in my Art History and Humanities classes.  Universe, am I asking too much?  How about if I draw everything I love and am curious about and teach others to do this too?  Deal?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Pencils

Pencil drawing inked with XS Faber-Castell Pitt Pen

Drawing colored in with Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Pencils

Here is my first attempt at capturing the beauty of a picture I saw of "Rainbow Swiss Chard" which is,
now that I've done a little research, a mixed bunch of different colors of Swiss Chard.  If you like
spinach, like I do, then be sure to try Swiss Chard which is even sweeter and tastier.  I've been really
enjoying drawing and painting a variety of fruits and vegetables which, of course, can be eaten later,
after I've tried to paint and draw them.

If you haven't tried the Derwent Inktense Watersoluble Pencils you must!  They are my very favorite
kind of watersoluble pencil because the colors are so saturated and inky when you release the color
with a brush and water.

I'm going to have another go with this image (I printed a copy of the drawing on watercolor paper)
with watercolor by itself.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Journal Pages with Wood Icing

 Wood Icing, Walnut Ink, Stencil Girl Stencils, Sharpie Pen, Crayola Glitter Glue

Wood Icing, Stencil Girl Stencil, collage with magazine images, Delusions Spray Ink,
Tattered Angels Spray Ink, tissue paper, Derwent Inktense Watercolor Pencils

Just getting started with Wood Icing which can be found for sale on the Stencil Girl website.  That is where I got the cool tree stencil I used on both pairs of pages.  I made the pages with the medallions on them as demo pages for my Visual Art Journaling Group, Colorado.  We met on Saturday the  2nd.

I started the second pair of pages during the group when I was demonstrating collaged journal pages with Wood Icing.  May add more info to this page tomorrow.  It is after 12:30 and going to bed because my teen finally finished his homework.  Nite!